A raw foodist will typically not eat food that has had been heated past 118F. The real challenge is that lots of ingredients that we would think are raw really are not raw. For example most raw almonds or cashews are not raw for a raw foodist. Cashews are steam extracted and almonds are heat or chemical treated. Lots of people think that milk or cheese is raw but those are all pasteurized. And most raw foodists will not consume dairy. I explain all of this in the video attached.
Why do people eat raw food?
Most people eat raw food for added nutrition. The vital life force of the food is intact. Enzymes are key to nutrition for these people. I have personally seen people drop 200lbs on a raw food diet over the course of a year. It is amazing to see this kind of transformation. When I eat raw I have an significantly increased energy level.
I have attached a video that goes into more detail on raw food. I mention a couple of easy recipes that can be made in minutes. As a general rule I keep couple of raw options on my menu that are under the vegan selections.